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24.4.2021 Lecture at the Master on Intelligence of the University of Calabria

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

On April 24, 2021, Avv. Lifang Dong, president of the Silk Council Association and founder of the Dong & Partners International Law Firm, held a video conference lecture on "The Intelligence System in China at the time of the New Silk Road and Covid-19" to 45 members of the Italian army (carabinieri, police, army, air force, navy and financial police), professionals and graduates in the Master on Intelligence of the University of Calabria, directed by Prof. Mario Caligiuri, President of the Italian Society of Intelligence (SOCINT).

In her lecture, Avv. Dong talked about the geopolitical role of China and the historic reforms that have led the country to be among the top world economies and the EU’s first trading partner. She also analyzed the new political guidelines issued in the "Two sessions" (in Chinese "lianghui"), held from 4 and 5 to 11 March 2021 by the Political Consultative Conference (CCPPC) and the National People's Congress (NPC), in which the 14th five-year plan for economic and social development 2021-2025 was approved.

Afterwards the lecture moved on to the Chinese intelligence system, characterized by a public and private integration mechanism. Avv. Dong referred in particular to Chinese policies on smart cities, the social credit system, Chinese laws on cybersecurity, intelligence, export control, national security for Hong Kong, as well as cases of Huawei's international business relations in the ICT sector.

The lecture ended with a focus on bilateral relations between China and Europe and between China and Italy. Relating to the former, the China-EU Investment Agreement (whose negotiations were concluded on December 30, 2020), the China-EU Agreement on geographical indications for the export of food and beverages (entered into force on March 1, 2021) and the China CEEC (Central and Eastern Europe Countries) Summit of February 9, 2021 are of particular importance.

As regards China- Italy relations, Avv. Dong reminded that the year 2020 was the 50th anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the two countries and already the 16th anniversary since the signing of their strategic partnership. Furthermore, during the visit of President Xi Jinping to Italy between March 21-23, 2019, Italy and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the context of the New Silk Road Project. During the 10th Session of the Italy-China Intergovernmental Committee held on December 29, 2020, the following strategic sectors of Chinese-Italian cooperation were identified: energy, petrochemical, steel and infrastructure, with projects to be developed not only in the Chinese market, but also in third countries. Avv. Dong also referred to some successful cases of Chinese-Italian cooperation such as the Chinese-Italian Ecological Park of Ningbo the so called “Sine Park”, created in 2014 on the agreement of the Italian and Chinese governments and which signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Silk Council Association represented by Avv. Dong.

Finally, Avv. Dong concluded: “For someone China is a threat, for others a partner to develop a new geopolitical order. There are many intermediate positions, adopted by numerous European countries that intend to do business with Beijing, protecting their own interests, without necessarily abandoning the Atlantic axis".

We thank Prof. Mario Caligiuri, Ms. Mariangela Caligiuri for the invitation and all the participants for their attention.

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